Apple launched its largest ever tablet in September last year. The iPad Pro 12.9 came with a huge 12.9-inch screen, supported the Apple Pencil stylus and packed a powerful processor – it was a big change to the iPad game.

Then there was the iPad Pro 9.7, an iPad Air 2 replacement which came with a smaller screen, new True Tone technology and all of the features we’d already seen on the original iPad Pro.

iPad Pro 2 release date

The original iPad Pro is over a year old but considering the iPad Pro 9.7 came out earlier this year and demand for new tablets isn’t high at the moment, it’s no surprise we’re going to be waiting longer for an iPad Pro 2.

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iPad Pro 2 : So far there’s no sign of an official launch date, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled. But with little iPad Pro 2 news we suspect the slate won’t arrive until early 2017.

The iPad Pro 9.7 launching this year it’s likely that the iPad Pro 2 will slip into 2017, possibly launching in March, as the iPad Pro 9.7 launched in March 2016.

iPad Pro 2 price

There’s no news on pricing yet, so we only have the original iPad Pro’s pricing to go from. That starts at $599 (£499, AU$899) for the 9.7-inch model and $799 (£679, AU$1249) for the 12.9-inch one, so with pricing likely to be similar for the Pro 2 it certainly won’t be easy on the wallet.

iPad Pro 2 design

Hottest leaks:

  • A slimmer, lighter slate
  • Water resistance
  • No headphone port

Not much is known about the iPad Pro 2 just yet – but leaked photos of a new Apple tablet have shown off what some believe to be the iPad Pro 2.

They came from a source working on the Chinese supply line – according to Apple Insider – and show off the tablet’s screen with a model number of MH1Z2CD/F.

iPad Pro 2 : That number’s not attached to any existing product, so it’d make sense for this to be the iPad Pro 2. The photos don’t show off any specific changes though, so it may look just like the original iPad Pro tablet.

That said, there’s a fair chance the company will try to make the new slates slimmer and lighter, as this is something Apple often does with new models and it could really benefit the larger model, as the iPad Pro 12.9 weighs a hefty 713g.

Apple also removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7, so this may be a change Apple brings over to the iPad range too.

Apple may also make the iPad Pro 2 water and dust resistant, like the iPhone 7. While a tablet – which is typically used indoors – is arguably less in need of that protection it would still help defend it against spilled drinks.

We’re not expecting big changes to the design of the iPad Pro 2, but it may well get slimmer and lighter, as well as borrowing some design cues from the iPhone 7.

iPad Pro 2 screen

Hottest leaks:

  • Three sizes
  • A True Tone display

According to a research note from a respected analyst, the iPad Pro 2 will come in three different sizes. There’ll be 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch models, just like with the original range, but there’ll also apparently be a 10.5-inch version.

The note doesn’t mention the resolution or any other details, but we can predict that all models of the iPad Pro 2 will come with a True Tone display, which debuted on the iPad Pro 9.7. True Tone allows your tablet to alter the screen’s color temperature depending on the ambient lighting of where you use it, so you can see the image properly no matter what conditions you’re in.

Apple rarely changes the resolution of its device’s screens; in fact, it hasn’t upped the 9.7-inch iPad’s resolution since the iPad 3 in 2012. You could argue that it’s due a jump by this point, but the 1536 x 2048 display doesn’t feel lacking, so we expect the iPad Pro 2 9.7 will keep that resolution.

iPad Pro : Similarly, the iPad Pro 2 12.9 will probably stay at 2048 x 2732 and the iPad Pro 2 10.5 – if it exists, which feels unlikely given it would be far too close to the 9.7-inch model in screen size – will presumably slot somewhere in the middle.

We’d expect to see some improvements to the display, but like the addition of True Tone on the iPad Pro 9.7 these are likely to be software tweaks or technology improvements, rather than an increased resolution.

One such improvement could be 3D Touch, which you’ll find on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. This essentially makes the screen pressure-sensitive, so a hard press on something will yield different results to a light one.

The iPad Pro 2 12.9 is bound to have a True Tone display since the iPad Pro 9.7 does, and Apple is likely to improve and refine the screen too, but probably won’t change the resolution.

iPad Pro 2 camera and battery

Hottest leaks:

  • A bigger battery

The iPad Pro 9.7 has a 12MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing one, so we’d expect at least that from the iPad Pro 2.

Chances are Apple won’t change the megapixel count, as both cameras on the iPad Pro 9.7 are already an upgrade on the iPad Pro 12.9’s snappers.

Although given that Apple stuck a larger lens on the iPhone 7 and a dual-lens on the iPhone 7 Plus it’s possible that it will bring one of those to the iPad Pro 2.

iPad Pro : There’s no news on what the battery size will be, and in any case it’s likely to vary depending on which screen size you opt for.

The camera is often an afterthought on the iPad range – and rightly so. As such we don’t expect big changes here, especially as Apple improved the camera for the iPad Pro 9.7, but a larger battery is likely.

iPad Pro 2 OS and power

Hottest leaks:

  • A powerful A10X processor
  • iOS 10
  • 4GB of RAM

We’d fully expect the iPad Pro 2 will launch with iOS 10 – Apple’s latest mobile operating system software upgrade. iOS 10 includes big improvements to Siri, the ability to live broadcast apps, a new look (and a lot less clutter) in the Control Center and more besides.

It wouldn’t be a new iPad without a new processor and Apple is rumored to be sticking an A10X chip in the iPad Pro 2. A Geekbench leak suggests it’ll be far more powerful than the original iPad Pro

It suggests it’ll have a single-core score of 4236 and a multi-core score of 6588. By comparison the original iPad Pro had a multi-core score of 5472.

iPad Pro : We could also see more RAM in the iPad Pro 2, or at least the 9.7-inch model. The iPad Pro 12.9 already has 4GB of RAM, but the iPad Pro 9.7 has just 2GB, so it would make sense for Apple to push the new model up in line with the 12.9-inch slate (and if we get a 10.5-inch model to equip that with 4GB of RAM too).

It’s unlikely Apple will jump from two to six cores for the A10X chip, but it’s bound to be very powerful all the same, and a sharp step forward in graphics processing especially. 4GB of RAM across the board would make sense and iOS 10 is all but guaranteed.

iPad Pro 2 other features

Hottest leaks:

  • A pressure-sensitive home button
iPad Pro

The Smart Connector is bound to make a return, giving users an easy way to connect keyboards and other accessories to the slate. The iPad Pro 2 will obviously support the Apple Pencil and there’s every chance Apple will release new versions of the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard alongside it.

Beyond that we can look to the iPhone 7 for other possible features, such as a pressure-sensitive home button, which could vibrate rather than physically clicking and do different things depending on how hard you press it.

There’s no way Apple will ditch the Smart Connector, as it’s one of the iPad Pro’s defining features. We’re not convinced we’ll get a pressure-sensitive home button though.

iPad Pro 2 rivals

Surface Pro 4 : The iPad Pro 2, particularly in its larger sizes, is likely to be positioned as a laptop alternative, which means it will be competing with the Microsoft Surface Pro range, which is currently up to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and by spring 2017 should include the Microsoft Surface Pro 5.

These slates are powerful, expensive and support similar accessories, like a stylus and a keyboard. But they run Windows 10, which means an inferior app selection but a more laptop-like experience.

iPad Pro : The original iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 9.7 will likely be rivals too, as they will probably stay on sale for a reduced price – and given the larger model especially still feels like it’s got power oozing out the edges, it will remain an attractive option, especially if it becomes more affordable.

Pixel C : There’s less direct competition from any Android slates, but despite getting on a bit the Google Pixel C could prove a tempting alternative, with its premium build, great screen and keyboard accessory – and we’re expecting Google to come out with a decent upgrade soon too.

With so little known about the iPad Pro 2 we’ve run through some of the spec and design changes we’d most like to see on Apple’s next slate.

1. Bigger battery

iPad Pro 2 : The original iPad Pro 12.9 came with a mammoth 10,307mAh battery, but we’d like to see it upgraded on the iPad Pro 2 to make the battery life even more impressive. With a powerful processor and a huge 12.9-inch screen to power the battery did drain quite quickly on the original tablet.

Fingers crossed Apple will put a big focus on the Pro 2’s power optimization as well, to give us considerably better battery on the iPad Pro 2.

2. Free Pencil stylus

iPad Pro with Apple Pencil : The Apple Pencil cost extra on top of the iPad Pro, so next time we’d like to see the Pencil 2 thrown into the box alongside the tablet. It’s not usually Apple’s style to offer accessories up for free, but the stylus is an essential part of the iPad Pro experience, so we’d like to see it included.

3. More storage

iPad Pro : The iPad Pro already comes with up to 256GB of storage, but with no expandable memory and the positioning of the slate as a laptop replacement a version with even more storage would be great to see.

If Apple could up the top size to 512GB – ideally without upping the price – then there’d be plenty of room for all our apps, games and media.

4. Better front-facing camera

iPad Pro : The front-facing camera is arguably the most important aspect of a tablet, as it can be used for video calls, so we’d like to see some improvements here and certainly hope the Pro 2 in all sizes at least gets a 5MP front-facing camera like the iPad Pro 9.7, rather than the 1.2MP snapper of the iPad Pro 12.9.

But ideally Apple will go further and equip the slate with a truly great front-facing camera, so we can make the most of video calling, as well as shooting selfies while lazing on the sofa.

5. Lighter build

Concept Phone
iPad Pro : The iPad Pro is heavy, especially in its larger 12.9-inch size. Right now there’s no obvious way to tackle that if you want a big tablet, but we’d like to see Apple shave off a little of the weight for the second generation. Whether that’s possible for Apple though is a different story.
[ source : Techradar ]

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